5:45 came early that morning, but let’s be real. 5:45 is always early for me. I was working as a stable manager for a riding academy during the summer of 2015. It was camp time and kids were running everywhere getting in my way by 10 AM so I started earlier than normal. I had fed the 31 horses and turned them out to their different turn outs and mucked all 27 stalls. Lunch was on the fly and it was time to clean out water buckets and hay the stalls before I left for the day.
I was in the zone! Music in the earbuds and I was knocking it out pretty fast. That’s when it happened. I grabbed the dirty water and tossed it out the stall window. Before I got turned around I heard a tiny voice yell at me, “Hey! What’s the big idea?” I stopped and wheeled back around to look out the stall window at the little voice. It was a nine year old camper named Ruby. It would seem she was not thrilled with how close the water came to her as I tossed on the run. She wasn’t too wet, but she wasn’t exactly impressed by the speed and efficiency of my work either. (This would not be the only conversation Ruby and I had that week).
I apologized and explained that the hay and feed the horses drop from their mouths while drinking can sour in the water in a short time and that can cause our horses to be sick. That is why I clean the water buckets each and every day. She looked at me and said, “Well that’s a good idea.” She changed her tune and was funny in how she did it too. Impressive for a nine year old.
It got me thinking again about life and our choices. I am pretty sure, like 100% sure that I know what is best for me. I mean it is my life right? So when God throws a wrench in my plans it is only natural to get frustrated and ask, “What’s the big idea?” Doesn’t God know I had this all worked out? Doesn’t He get it that I have it under control? Why is He slowing me down, or worse saying no to something I want?
I am like Jonah, not the been swallowed by a big fish part, but the I know what’s best part. Have you ever read the end of Jonah’s story? He was straight up mad at God for saving the people of Nineveh. So much so that he threw a pity party and argued with God over it. It isn’t pretty, and it doesn’t end well for him. In short, don’t be a Jonah.
“9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
Then He settles me. He is so unbelievably patient with me. He let’s us be human and then shows us why He is right and just how wrong we are. It isn’t that He is laughing and saying, “I told you so!” He just let’s what happens happen and then comes along side of us and helps us clean up the mess, that is when we finally swallow our pride and ask. Like Ruby it is best if we learn from the experience and accept that His idea, was a good one!
Believe it or not, God kind of knows what He is doing. And I am sorry to say, most of the time, we are at best shooting in the dark.
It’s like John. He was Jesus’ cousin. He is the baby that jumped in his mother’s womb when Mary who was pregnant with Jesus came to visit. Before he was born John KNEW who Jesus was! Still there he was, in prison about to have his head removed by Herod and second guessing if Jesus is the Messiah or not. Of all the people on Earth, John should have known!
We are emotional and frail creatures. John was scared for his life, and rightfully so. That human frailty is why Jesus had to become a man and die for us. So we can know that He understands and feels our pain, frustration, anger, fear, and every other emotion.
“6 But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
a son of man that you care for him?
7 You made them a little[a] lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
8 and put everything under their feet.”[b][c]
In putting everything under them,[d] God left nothing that is not subject to them.[e] Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.[f]9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
What’s the big idea? Why can’t I have it my way? I don’t know, but God does. He knows and understands more than you ever thought that He could. One day we will see His plan and know that His idea, was a good one. In fact, it was the best one!